QMT News: September 2009
Foundation degree in metrology launched
Coventry University is to become the first institution in the UK to offer a qualification in metrology - the science of measurement - helping to fill an important skills gap in the country.  The first students will begin the course this August. The foundation degree has been developed by the School of Lifelong Learning at Coventry University, with support from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s national measurement institute. The course is aligned to NPL’s training framework, meaning that graduating students will receive the dual accolade of the degree itself and certification from NPL.

The qualification fills the specific skills gap in the understanding and application of measurement; allowing organisations to benefit from savings in both time and money through the implementation of best practice within metrology.

Trevor Toman, Metrology Manager for the West Midlands Manufacturing Measurement Centre (WMMMC) explains: “The Foundation Degree in Metrology sets out to satisfy the needs of manufacturing, the individuals within industry and the scientific world. We strongly believe that metrology education should be diverse enough to satisfy the personal requirements of the metrology generalist and the metrology specialist, also that it should satisfy industrial needs now and in the future; that it should cover the laboratory and the shop floor and finally that it should prepare researchers for further study. This course is about applied measurement in real situations for improved performance.”

Fiona Auty, Head of Communications and Training at NPL, who has been helping to develop the course, commented: “With many talented graduates struggling to find work, it is reassuring that new courses are being developed that offer high academic standards, whilst also addressing predicted gaps within important areas of industry and providing students with the skills they need to find a career”.

This new Foundation Degree is a key step towards metrology gaining recognition as a National Occupational Standard (NOS). There is currently no standard describing the precise role of metrology practitioners, despite thousands of UK employees working in the field.
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